Silva was born on 14 April 1975, in São Paolo, Brazil. The son of a poverty-stricken family, Silva spent the majority of his childhood in Curitiba with his aunt and uncle, who was an officer with the Curitiba police force. Silva’s first foray in martial arts began as a child training jiu-jitsu with neighborhood kids. As a teen, Silva began training in taekwondo, capoeira and muay thai.
Mixed martial arts career
Early career (1997–2002)
Silva initially fought in his native Brazil in the welterweight category. Silva made his professional debut in 1997 with a pair of wins.[non-tertiary source needed] Silva recorded his first loss in 2000 to Luiz Azeredo by decision. After that fight, he went on a nine-fight winning streak, winning six of those fights by either submission or TKO.[non-tertiary source needed] After winning his first match in Japan, he was put up against Shooto champion Hayato Sakurai on 26 August 2001. Silva beat Sakurai by unanimous decision after three rounds and became the new Shooto Middleweight Champion (at 167 lb) and the first man to defeat Sakurai, who was undefeated in his first 20 fights.[non-tertiary source needed]
Pride Fighting Championships and Cage Rage (2002–2006)
In 2002, Silva began fighting in Pride. In his first fight with the promotion, he stopped Alex Stiebling with a cut resulting from a high kick. In his next match, he won via decision against the “Diet Butcher” Alexander Otsuka. At Pride 25, Silva faced former UFC welterweight champion Carlos Newton. Newton tried to shoot in on Silva, but was hit with a flying knee. Newton collapsed and Silva finished the fight with strikes, winning by technical knockout.[non-tertiary source needed]
At Pride 26, Silva faced Daiju Takase. Takase, with a record of four wins and seven losses, was the underdog. However Silva was dominated on the ground for almost the entire fight before being submitted by Takase when caught in a triangle choke late in the first round. After his loss to Takase, Silva became demotivated and thought about quitting MMA, but was convinced to keep on fighting by Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira. Silva then left Chute Boxe, joined Nogueira in Brazilian Top Team and started to fight in other promotions around the world. On 27 June 2004, Silva fought Jeremy Horn and earned a decision victory.
Three months later, Silva made his debut in the Cage Rage promotion in England. At Cage Rage 8 Silva fought and defeated noted striker Lee Murray by decision.[non-tertiary source needed]That year, Silva returned to Pride FC on 31 December to face Ryo Chonan. Silva was in control with a take down and body triangle in the first round. Chonan was able to counter Silva’s knees from the clinch, with knees, and takedowns. Chonan was perceived by some to be winning up until the finish. During the third round, Bas Rutten, commentating alongside Mauro Ranallo, stated that he believed Anderson must obtain a knockout or strong finish or he would lose the fight. Despite being the underdog, Chonan ended the fight in the third round with a rare flying scissor heel hook, forcing Silva to submit.[non-tertiary source needed] After the loss to Chonan he was cut by Pride, Silva continued fighting in the Cage Rage promotion, as well as other promotions around the world. Silva defended his Cage Rage title against Curtis Stout.
Although he was slated to fight Matt Lindland at Cage Rage 16, Lindland’s decision to fight Mike Van Arsdale at Raze Fight Night put an end to the highly anticipated match up. Instead, Silva defended his championship against Tony Fryklund, winning the fight with a reverse elbow, knocking out Fryklund early in the first round.
Silva competed in Hawaii’s Rumble on the Rock promotion, where he fought Yushin Okami in the first round of the 175 lb tournament. Though labeled as a favorite to win the tournament,Silva was eliminated from the tournament when he kicked Okami in the face from the guard position. Okami’s knees were on the ground at the time, making the attack an illegal strike to the head of a downed opponent. Silva later said that the rule had not been properly explained to him before the bout. “When I fought Okami the rules really weren’t explained to me properly in the event I was fighting in,” said Silva. “You could kick a downed opponent to the groin or to the head when your back’s on the ground. So the rules weren’t explained to me properly.” While Okami was given the opportunity to recover and continue fighting, Okami opted for the disqualification win. Silva responded by saying he “felt it was a cheap, cowardly way of winning,” and that “people that were there saw that he was in the condition to come back and keep fighting, and he didn’t.”
Ultimate Fighting Championship (2006–present)
Debut and middleweight championship
Although speculation ran rampant about where Silva would sign next, the UFC announced in late April 2006 that they had signed him to a multi-fight contract. It was not long before the UFC started promoting Silva, releasing an interview segment almost immediately after announcing his arrival.
Silva made his debut at Ultimate Fight Night 5 on 28 June 2006. His opponent was The Ultimate Fighter 1 contestant Chris Leben who had gone undefeated in the UFC with five consecutive victories. Leben, confident of victory, had predicted he would KO Silva in a pre-fight interview. A relatively unknown fighter in the United States, Silva made an emphatic debut when he knocked out Leben with a flurry of pinpoint strikes, followed by a final knee strike at 49 seconds into the first round. Silva’s striking accuracy was 85%.
In response to the victory, the UFC tallied a poll on their main page, asking viewers to select Silva’s next opponent. The majority of voters selected the UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin. Silva fought Franklin at UFC 64 on 14 October 2006, and defeated him by TKO (strikes) at 2:59 in the first round. Silva hit Franklin with knees to the body from the Muay Thai-clinch, then badly broke Franklin’s nose with a knee to the face. Unable to strike back, Franklin dodged the last of Silva’s strikes before falling to the ground, where referee “Big” John McCarthy ended the fight. Silva was crowned the new UFC Middleweight Champion, becoming the second man to defeat Franklin, after Black House-teammate Lyoto Machida.
Record-setting championship reign
On 3 February 2007, at UFC 67, Silva was scheduled to fight The Ultimate Fighter 4 winner Travis Lutter in what would be his first title defense since defeating Rich Franklin in October 2006. However, Lutter failed to make the 185 pounds (84 kg) weight limit and the match was changed to a non-title bout. Many felt that Lutter’s best chance to win was to take the fight to the ground, with Lutter being an accomplished Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt. Silva won via submission with a combination of a triangle choke and elbow strikes in the second round.
In his next fight at UFC 73 on 7 July 2007, Silva successfully defended his title against Nate Marquardt, winning by TKO at 4:50 in the first round. Three months later, on 20 October 2007, at UFC 77, Silva fought a title defense rematch against Rich Franklin, in Franklin’s hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, at the U.S. Bank Arena. Silva defended his belt by defeating Franklin via TKO in the 2nd round. On 1 March 2008, at UFC 82 Silva fought Pride Middleweight champion Dan Henderson, in a title unification bout (UFC and Pride titles on the line). Henderson was believed to have the edge on the ground, having competed in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics in Greco-Roman wrestling. Silva defended his title by defeating Henderson via rear naked choke in the 2nd round. At UFC Fight Night 14 on 19 July 2008, Silva made his debut at Light Heavyweight (205 lb (93 kg)) in a bout against James Irvin. Silva won via KO due to strikes in 1:01 of the first round after catching Irvin’s attempted leg kick with his left arm and delivering a straight right that dropped Irvin to the mat, Silva then finished a prone Irvin with a blitz of punches to the head. Irvin later tested positive for methadone and oxymorphone.
Silva’s next fight was on 25 October 2008, at UFC 90 in Rosemont, Illinois, Silva defended his Middleweight title against Patrick Côté. In the third round, Côté landed awkwardly on his right leg while throwing a kick and fell to the mat grasping his right knee in pain. Referee Herb Dean declared the fight over when Côté could not continue, ruling the bout a TKO victory for Silva. Côté, however, became the first of Silva’s UFC opponents to make it past the 2nd round. After his fight with Côté, Silva was criticized for seemingly avoiding contact during the bout. Dana White criticized Silva, saying: “I didn’t understand Silva’s tactics… It wasn’t the Anderson Silva I’ve been watching the last two years.” Silva said in the post-fight news conference:
At UFC 101 which took place on 8 August 2009, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Silva again fought at 205 pounds against former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin. Griffin was knocked down three times in the first round. The bout earned Silva Beatdown of the Year honors from Sherdog. The bout shared those honors with the second bout between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir. Both fighters were awarded $60,000 as Fight of the Night bonuses and Silva received $60,000 in bonus money for Knockout of the Night.On 18 April 2009, at UFC 97 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Silva defeated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt Thales Leites by unanimous decision, and recorded his UFC record 9th consecutive win in the octagon. Leites is credited with being the first man in UFC history to take Silva through 5 rounds to a judges’ decision. The crowd repeatedly booed his lackluster performance, bored expression, and frustrated attempts to goad his opponent into fighting, and in the 4th and 5th rounds took to dancing, lowering his guard and slapping his opponent without retaliation. Following the fight, Dana White has stated that he was “embarrassed” by Silva’s performance, but still said that he believes him to be “the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world”.
After defeating Griffin, a Yahoo! Sports reporter allegedly claimed that Silva’s manager, Ed Soares, had confirmed that Silva would abandon his Middleweight belt to fight at Light Heavyweight. However, Soares and a UFC spokesperson confirmed that a conversation agreeing Silva would permanently move up to Light Heavyweight never took place. Silva did not relinquish his title to fight exclusively at Light Heavyweight. Soares stated his attorney plans to speak to Yahoo! Sports about the matter.
Silva was expected to defend the UFC Middleweight Championship against Vitor Belfort on 2 January 2010, at UFC 108. However, Ed Soares announced that the bout would not take place as Silva would not be fully recovered from surgery. Silva was then set to face Belfort on 6 February 2010, at UFC 109. The fight, however, was dependent on Silva’s healing, which he described as “not going as planned.” The fight was canceled because of Silva’s slow recovery. Silva was once again scheduled to face Belfort on 10 April 2012, at UFC 112. The fight was later canceled again due to an injury to Belfort. Demian Maia was selected to fill the spot and take on Silva for the belt.
In the first two rounds fighting Maia, Silva appeared to mock his opponent while employing quick, precise striking. In the third round, however, Silva’s tempo seemed to change. He looked to Maia to be the aggressor while he largely circled and taunted his opponent. In the fifth round, Silva’s lack of action prompted referee Dan Miragliotta to warn Silva for his conduct. The crowd began to side with Maia, who was the only fighter attempting to engage. After 5 rounds, Silva was declared the winner via unanimous decision.
Silva was widely criticized for his performance. Dana White said it was the most embarrassed he had ever been since becoming UFC president. Midway through the fourth round, White walked away from the fight and gave the championship belt to Silva’s manager, Ed Soares. White was so annoyed that he declined to personally place the belt around Silva’s waist, claiming it was the first time he had done so after a title match. It was also claimed that Silva verbally taunted Maia, saying, “Come on, hit me in the face, playboy.” In the immediate post-fight interview, Silva apologized and said that he wasn’t himself and that he would need to go back and reevaluate the humility that got him to where he is. In the post-fight interview, Silva made multiple references about how Demian insulted him before the bout. However, the pre-fight banter was seen by many as not out of the ordinary.
On 7 August 2010, Silva faced Chael Sonnen for the UFC Middleweight title at UFC 117. In the first round, Sonnen stunned Silva with a punch before taking him down and dominating from the top position, landing multiple blows. The following three rounds played out in a similar fashion, going to the ground early with Sonnen dominating from inside Silva’s guard. In the fifth round, Silva slipped after being tagged by Sonnen’s left hook and the challenger took advantage by once again establishing a top position and delivering strikes to Silva. With about two minutes left in the round, Silva was able to lock up a triangle armbar on Sonnen, forcing Sonnen to submit at 3:10 of Round 5.
Silva was hit more in the fight than in his entire UFC career up till that point. According to CompuStrike, in his first 11 UFC fights, Silva was hit 208 times. Sonnen hit him a total of 289 times. After the bout it was revealed that Sonnen would have won a judges’ decision. All three judges had Sonnen marked as the winner of all four rounds, judges Nelson Hamilton and Dan Stell had Sonnen taking Round 1 10–8, as well as Hamilton awarding the challenger another 10–8 total in Round 3. Silva later claimed to have gone into the fight with a cracked rib and that a doctor advised him not to fight. Dana White announced that Sonnen would get a rematch upon Silva return.
Following the fight the California State Athletic Commission confirmed that Chael Sonnen tested positive for synthetic testosterone, with his test having revealed a high testosterone to epitestosterone ratio, indicative of testosterone replacement therapy. The promised rematch was revoked after the issue with his testosterone ratio came to light, however, after Sonnen came back and won two straight fights, Dana White scheduled the rematch.
Silva faced Vitor Belfort on 5 February 2011, at UFC 126. Belfort was expected to face Yushin Okami on 13 November 2010, at UFC 122, but was replaced by Nate Marquardt. After a “feeling out” period of about two and a half minutes in the first round, Silva and Belfort started to trade strikes. Silva landed a front kick to Belfort’s jaw and followed up with punches to the grounded challenger. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the fight at 3:25 into the first round. With the win Silva handed Belfort his first KO loss in 28 career fights and extended his record streak of title defenses to eight. Silva then faced Yushin Okami on 27 August 2011, at UFC 134. He defeated the Japanese middleweight by TKO at 2:04 of round 2, displaying skilled head movement and accurate striking. His record then went to 31–4, avenging his DQ loss to Okami back in 2006.
A rematch with Chael Sonnen was to take place on 23 June 2012, at UFC 147, but the bout was moved back to 7 July 2012, at UFC 148, while the expected co-feature of the Brazilian event, a rematch between Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva would headline the event. The change was due to a scheduling conflict with the UN Conference Rio+20, which occurred during the same time frame as UFC 147. At UFC 148, after again being dominated throughout the first round, Silva stopped Sonnen in the second with a TKO.
Title loss and injury
Silva faced Chris Weidman on 6 July 2013, at UFC 162. Despite being the heavy favorite, he lost by KO in the second round after show boating, ending his streak of the longest title reign in UFC history.
A rematch was held at UFC 168 on 28 December. Weidman dominated the first round; it was reported that Silva may have also cracked his shin bone against Weidman during the first leg check. In the second round Weidman checked one of Silva’s leg kicks again, breaking Silva’s left fibula and tibia and ending the fight via TKO. Immediately after the fight, Silva had orthopedic surgery to stabilize his tibia with an intramedullary rod; his fibula was reset and was not expected to require further surgery. A UFC statement called the surgery “successful” and said those with similar injuries generally take three to six months to recover.
Despite calls for Silva to retire from MMA, it was confirmed on 29 July 2014, that Silva would return to the organization. Before UFC 179, Silva and the UFC agreed on a new, 15-fight contract that replaced their previous deal which had eight fights remaining.
On 29 October 2014, it was announced that Silva would coach opposite Maurício Rua for The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 4, which began filming in early 2015. Despite being coaches on the show, the two fighters will not face each other at the end of the season. Silva’s continued participation was briefly in doubt during the filming after the announcement of his failed drug test. Initially, Dana White announced that Silva would remain on the show as a coach.Subsequently, Silva was pulled as one of the coaches and was replaced by Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira.
In his first fight post-injury, Silva faced Nick Diaz in the main event of UFC 183 on 31 January 2015. He won the fight via unanimous decision. In the days after the fight, it was revealed that Silva tested positive for Drostanolone and Androstane, two anabolic steroids, in pre-fight drug screening on 9 January 2015. Nevada State Athletic Commission chairman Francisco Aguilar confirmed that the fight has not yet been overturned and can’t be until a motion is passed by a majority of the commission. Any penalties, suspensions or changes to the outcome of the fight have to be presented as a motion and then voted on by the commission to enact the order. On 11 February 2015, it was reported that Silva tested positive for an additional unknown illegal substance in a separate test that was related to UFC 183. On 17 February 2015, NSAC executive director Bob Bennett confirmed to ESPN.com that Silva failed his postfight urine test and that Silva had tested positive for the steroid Drostanolone—the same banned substance he tested positive for during an out-of-competition test taken on 9 January 2015. Silva also tested positive for the anti-anxiety medication Oxazepam and Temazepam, which is used to treat sleep deprivation.
On 13 August, after several reschedules, the disciplinary hearing was held to decide on the subject. Silva’s defense argued that a tainted sexual enhancement drug that a friend had given to Silva after a trip to Thailand was the root of the two failed tests for drostanolone and also appealed to mistakes in the NSAC testing procedures, pointing to a pair of drug tests, one on 19 January and one after the fight, which Silva passed. He admitted to using both benzodiazepines the night prior to the fight as therapy to control stress and help him sleep. Silva’s team was unable to explain the presence of androsterone in the 9 January test. The commission rejected the defense and suspended him for one year retroactive to the date of the fight, as the current guidelines were not in effect at the time of the failed tests. He was also fined his full win bonus, as well as 30% of his show money, totaling $380,000. His victory was overturned to a no contest.
In his first fight after his PED suspension was lifted, Silva faced Michael Bisping on 27 February 2016, at UFC Fight Night 84. He lost the fight via unanimous decision. However, the fight was not without controversy as at the end of round three Silva dropped Bisping with a flying knee while Bisping was signaling to referee Herb Dean that he lost his mouthpiece. Silva believed he had won the bout and continued to celebrate as referee Herb Dean said the fight was not over, and it continued for another two rounds to the decision. Both participants were awarded Fight of the Night honors.
Silva was expected to face Uriah Hall on 14 May 2016, at UFC 198. However, Silva pulled out of the bout on 10 May after requiring a surgery to remove his gallbladder. As a result, Hall did not compete at the event.
Silva was expected to face Kelvin Gastelum on 3 June 2017, at UFC 212. However, Gastelum was pulled from the match-up after testing positive for marijuana. In turn, despite having two months to secure an opponent, Silva and promotion officials confirmed on 11 May that he would not compete at that event.
The bout with Gastelum was rescheduled and was expected to take place on 25 November 2017, at UFC Fight Night 122. However it was announced on 10 November 2017 that Silva would be pulled from the bout due to failing USADA drug test on 26 October. In July 2018, USADA announced that Silva had been exonerated from the failed test after finding contaminated supplements and received a one-year suspension from USADA dating back to November 2017 and would be free to resume fighting in November 2018.
Article source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anderson_Silva